Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring new endorsements of the Open Pharma position statement on open access, preprints, preprints, preprints, and updates on open access agreements from the University of California and swissuniversities.

New organizational endorsements and 150 individual endorsements via Open Pharma

Open Pharma is pleased to announce that we have now gained 150 individual endorsements on our position statement on open access. We also have new endorsements from the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders and Outcomes Positive, Inc., which brings us to a total of 37 organizational endorsements!

The different ways publishers are investing in preprints via The Scholarly Kitchen

This comprehensive analysis takes a look at how publishers are engaging with and investing in preprint platforms. The major publishers – Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley – are all hosting their own preprint platforms, each with intricate workflow systems connecting each preprint and their metadata to the relevant published articles. Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer at Springer Nature, says that this is an ”article-centric, not journal-centric” approach.

Fraser et al. 2020: preprints and pandemics via bioRxiv

Although pandemics have occurred repeatedly throughout history, it is the scientific community’s response to COVID-19 that has been truly unprecedented. Over 16 000 coronavirus-related scientific articles were published within the first four months of the outbreak, with at least 6000 of these available as preprints. This analysis of coronavirus-related preprints hosted on the bioRxiv and medRxiv servers found that coronavirus-related content was reviewed faster and was also accessed up to 15 times more often than preprints unrelated to coronavirus.

Top tips for a successful preprint via Nature Index

Despite the growing popularity of preprints, some researchers are still new to the process and format. Here, John Inglis (Co-founder of bioRxiv and medRxiv), Jessica Polka (Executive Director of ASAPbio), Samantha Hindle (Senior Content Lead at bioRxiv and medRxiv), Dasapta Erwin Irawan (Founder of INA-Rxiv) and Michael Hoffman (Assistant Professor of Medical Biophysics and Computer Science at the University of Toronto) outline their top tips on preprint etiquette and best practice.

Preprints are here to stay via Absolutely Maybe, a PLOS Blog

New technology has always invited pushback; Erasmus’ denouncement of the printing press and books in his 1508 adage, in which he called the technology an “impediment to learning”, is reminiscent of some current opinions of preprints. But the dawn of books heralded the study of informatics and systems of organization and classification. Here, Hilda Bastian says that we need to apply new systems of organization and classification, optimized for the digital era of data distribution, to improve the efficiency and reliability of preprint servers.

University of California theses and dissertations to be made open access via UCSF Library

The wider University of California system has issued a new policy, mandating that all theses and dissertations prepared at the university must be hosted on an open access repository. Filing procedures and policies regarding press embargoes will be determined by each campus graduate division; over 1900 theses and dissertations from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are already publicly available on eScholarship.

Elsevier and swissuniversities enter pilot agreement via PR Newswire

swissuniversities, the umbrella organization representing Swiss universities, has entered into a transformative pilot agreement with Elsevier and the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries to provide all member institutions with continued access to ScienceDirect, while at the same time allowing them to publish open access across Elsevier’s repertoire of gold and hybrid journals. The agreement should enable Swiss universities and institutions to publish 100% of their research open access by 2024.

We at Open Pharma would like to continue to encourage all our readers to look after themselves and their community and continue to follow advice from their country’s government and health organizations.

Coronavirus mental health and wellbeing resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention